Art Gallery of Hamilton reopens this weekend and features very poignant exhibition

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Published March 18, 2021 at 1:42 pm

Art Gallery of Hamilton reopens this weekend and features very poignant exhibition

The Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH) is reopening to visitors this Saturday (March 20) and to mark the occasion, they are showcasing the work of Ontario artist Esmaa Mohamoud.

The new exhibit, entitled ‘Esmaa Mohamoud: To Play in the Face of Certain Defeat,’ features a dozen pieces that explore themes related to contemporary Blackness, diversity and discrimination.

According to a press release from the AGH, Mohamoud’s work in this exhibit focuses on professional sports and how “high-level athletics operate as sites of corporate profit and discrimination.”

She uses basketball jerseys and Victorian-era ballgowns to highlight “the sport’s fraught relationship with queer, gender-fluid, and female identities.

“Reconstructed football equipment, including branded black leather footballs and African wax-printed helmets, celebrate cultural plurality through their exuberant, diverse designs, while also protesting the staged enactment of Black violence for entertainment,” the release said.

The exhibit was originally slated to open in early February 2021, but the pandemic pushed back the gallery’s reopening. The exhibit, which was curated by Matthew Kyba, Curator of Exhibitions at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington and organized and circulated by Museum London, runs at the AGH until August 15.

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“It brings us immense pride and gratitude to reopen the Gallery foregrounding such an important artistic voice as Esmaa Mohamoud,” says Shelley Falconer, AGH President & CEO in the release.

“Following a year defined by the physical and philosophical differences in the world, we are honoured to welcome our community back in to our space, to share time together with this stunning, vital work.”

The AGH has taken much of its programming and exhibits and workshops to the virtual sphere in the months since COVID-19 has come to the city and the positive response from the community has kept this vibrant hub for the arts in Hamilton thriving.

As a thank-you to the community for its ongoing support, the AGH is offering free admission on Thursdays from March 25 to April 22.

“Throughout this past year, we have been inspired and humbled by the enthusiasm and care demonstrated by our community,” an AGH Instagram post announcing its reopening said.

“It will be such a joy to come together again in-person very soon!”

For more information about visiting the AGH and its programming, visit the gallery’s website.

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